5 top tips to help you create a head-turning LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn has been a hot topic in my networking circles lately. It’s the social media site that’s often the most useful for business owners – but in my experience, it’s also the one that confuses them the most!

I was recently asked to present at a Pop Connect event, and because I always want my talks to deliver as much value as possible, I ran a poll that asked my networking colleagues which social media platform they needed the most help with. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter were definite contenders, but LinkedIn won by a country mile.

Most of my presentation was themed around how to create and share valuable content via LinkedIn, so I thought it might be a good idea to follow it up with some ideas to help you improve your online CV.

Here are 5 things you can do to straightaway to jazz up your LinkedIn profile and impress your connections:

1. Nail your headline

It’s one of the first things a connection will see when they land on your page – so it’s vital that your headline not only captures their attention, but accurately sums up what you can offer.

Straightforward role descriptions are fine, but they are not overly inspiring. Try to describe what you do in a way that not only explains what you do, but communicates the benefits of your work and shows off what makes you different from other people in your field.

Be aware that you have a 120 character limit in this section, so every word counts!

2. Create a customised URL

Setting a personalised URL for your own little corner of LinkedIn will make it so much easier to direct people to your profile (and it will make you easier to find, too). You can opt for your full name, your first name followed by your profession, or a different format entirely.

Just click on ‘Edit public profile & URL’ in the top right hand corner of the page to claim your new moniker.

3. Use a professional-looking profile picture

These days, there’s really no excuse for a sub-standard profile photo.

Use a decent camera to capture a high-resolution image, and make sure you’re dressed appropriately and striking a pose that showcases your personality. Half-cut captures lifted directly from your Facebook timeline are a definite no-no, as are group photos. (Yes… I’ve seen many of these over the years, and needless to say, they don’t leave a great impression!)

4. Choose your Endorsed Skills carefully

The Skills & Endorsements section gives you a chance to show off what you know and get extra validations from people you have already worked with.

You can’t always control which of these skills get shown to the person visiting your profile, as LinkedIn’s algorithm will switch them around according to which ones they believe are the most relevant to the searcher. However, you can add up to 50 of them to make sure you cover all bases.

Make sure you add talents that would be expected of somebody in your sector and put the most important ones at the top of the list. Don’t be tempted to add in skills that look impressive, but that you actually know nothing about – you’d hate to become unstuck if somebody questions your abilities!

5. Request Recommendations

Requesting a testimonial always feels a bit awkward, doesn’t it? But personalised recommendations from clients, colleagues and people you network with will prove that you really are as good as you say you are.

All you need to do is scroll down to the Recommendations section on your profile, click on ‘Ask to be recommended’, and send a message to connections who are likely to give you great feedback with nothing more than a little nudge.

Oh, and don’t forget to make your LinkedIn profile public! You want to be as visible as possible, after all!